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Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

Planning on heading to Germany for Oktoberfest? Snapping photos of your beers is probably fine, but be careful when looking to Instagram your food. Germany essentially has a ban on “food porn” pics, saying that taking photos of a chef’s food is a potential copyright violation. It’s ironic being that when it comes to that other type of porn—you know, real porn—Germans have a reputation for being pretty liberal.

According to Germany’s The Local, in a 2013 ruling, the country’s Federal Court of Justice expanded copyright protections to include elaborately arranged food, deciding that this awesome plating is the artistic property of the chef and those who wish to show it off beyond the restaurant walls need permission from whoever created it.

There is a bizarre gray area, however: The German legal service site Anwalt.de says that a meal is only protected if its design can be considered advanced or artistic, potentially creating a legal loophole whereby you could get away with taking a photo of your meal if you tell the chef you want to show the world how boring and crappy it is.

The Local points out that, as of now, there’s no record of a chef actually suing someone for taking a photo of their food, but Anwalt.de suggests people be careful. “If you want to be absolutely on the safe side, you should probably ask the host or the chef,” they wrote.

Your best bet: just stick to drinking. That’s why you went to Germany anyway, right?

[h/t Munchies]

Related: 5 Brand-New Instagram Filters and How They Look With Food 
How to Take Photos of Food 
These 11 Unbelievable Photos All Came from an iPhone

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